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How to: Reference

How to Reference: A 3-Step Process

Record the details of all materials used in your research and reading as you go along - this will ensure you have all the requisite information to create your citations and references when you begin your assignment or exam.
Create an in-text citation every time you use or refer to someone else's work within your own assignment or exam.
Build your reference list as you go along (in alphabetical order), listing every source cited within the text of your assignment or exam.

Referencing Methods

Direct quotes should be used sparingly and only when relevant to your argument. Short and long quotes are treated differently.

Short quotes (less than 40 words) should be contained within the main body of your text with a citation which includes the page number and quotation marks, as in the following example:

Example (Harvard & APA Style):

Pilbeam (2010, p. 137) stated that a "motive for a firm issuing a convertible bond is that it regards its stock valuation as too low and does not wish to raise a given amount of cash by a rights issue".

Long quotes (40 words or more) should be entered as a separate paragraph from the main body of your text. The quotation should be indented and contain a full citation. Quotation marks are not required.

Example (Harvard & APA Style):

Thomson (2016) describes the effect technology is having on the way people consume digital media:

They have other screens - their computer, a laptop, or a smartphone - on which, one way or another, they get a lot of what they want, on HBO Go, Hulu Plus or Netflix. A lot of people young or old, watch on the computer, using "shared" passwords. It is piracy, but the pirated system wants their attention on the ads,...(p. 378).

Quick Tips

Paraphrasing is re-writing or re-stating another person’s idea or argument in your own words, rather than using a direct quote. You must always cite (including page number) and reference the original material when you paraphrase another writer’s work. Paraphrasing is often more appropriate than a direct quote as it does not disrupt the natural flow of your own writing style.


Thompson (2016, p. 334) states that Donald Trump's election, the Brexit vote, the rise in support of far-right parties in continental Europe all indicate that ignorance and prejudice are on the rise.

Summarising is different to paraphrasing.  When you summarise something you create a brief synopsis or list the main points of another piece of work without providing minute detail of the arguments or ideas portrayed in that work. As with quotations and paraphrasing, you must always cite (no page number needed) and reference the original author(s).


Adbulla (2016) illustrates how the introduction of the Cable News Network (CNN) the launch of Al Jazeera and introduction of the Internet transformed the media landscape in the Middle East

Imagine if you read a book/article written by author A, Smith and they cite another person, author B, Jones. The information cited is exactly the evidence you need to argue your case for your assignment. How do you reference this information?

When a book or article references another source use the phrase "as cited in" to refer to both the original author and the source which you have found it in.


D.H. Lawrence novel Lady Chatterley's Lover (as cited in Henry, 2017) depicts scenes of sexual nature and uses many expletives.


This belief has been confirmed (Muller, 2016, as cited in Richards, 2017)

In your reference list, you should only add the source that you referred to directly. Although secondary referencing is acceptable, ideally you should try to locate and read the original work in order to confirm and critically evaluate the point or issue being referred to in the secondary source.

So which referencing style should I use?

There are many different referencing styles used at DBS. The style you use depends on your field of study.

Courses in business and marketing use the Harvard Referencing style.
Courses in psychology, counselling and pyschotherapy, social science, and the arts use APA Referencing style.
Courses in law use OSCALA Referencing style.
Courses in computing use IEEE or Harvard Referencing style. Check with your lecturer about which one to use. IEEE Referencing style is used for any research intended for publication.